The South San Francisco police officer who fatally shot 15-year-old Derrick Gaines in June was justified in the use of lethal force, according to a report from the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office released Wednesday.
Officer Joshua Cabillo shot and killed Gaines on June 5 after the youth allegedly ran from police and attempted to point a gun at Cabillo. The officer became suspicious of Gaines and his friend when they quickly walked away from him and glanced over their shoulders after noticing Cabillo, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Cabillo followed Gaines and his friend to the Arco gas station on Westborough Boulevard. That’s when Gaines began making gestures toward his waistband, Wagstaffe said. Cabillo questioned Gaines, but he denied hiding anything. Cabillo asked Gaines and his friend to sit down and that’s when Gaines ran off, Wagstaffe said.
Cabillo said he noticed a gun in Gaines’ waistband while he was running and started chasing him. Cabillo then grabbed Gaines by the shirt and struck him in the back of the head with a service weapon, Wagstaffe said. As Gaines hit the ground, his gun allegedly fell out of his waistband.
Gaines looked at the gun and tried to reach for it, Wagstaffe said, but Cabillo shot him in the neck.
“Confronted by a subject who had been armed, and who was about to be armed again, public safety required Officer Cabillo to use deadly force to protect himself and others in the immediate vicinity,” Wagstaffe said.